Long ago, Lickitung was one of the first 150 Pokemon. Its main appeal was the fact it was a relatively rare Pokemon to get. In Red and Blue, you had to trade a Slowbro to somebody at the Route 18 Gate House. But, in Pokemon Yellow, you could actually catch one in Cerulean Cave after beating the Elite Four. The trouble is, Lickitung’s stats were never very good, and despite having a good move pool, it didn’t really stand up well to anything.
The major plus to Lickitung in the first and second generation games was that it was a great “HM Slave.” Since you needed several HM moves to complete the game, the Licking Pokemon could use Cut, Surf, and Strength. In Generation 2, though (Gold/Silver/Crystal), you could catch one in the wild at Route 44. In the third generation you could only get one in FireRed and LeafGreen the same way you did in Red and Blue. By that point, Lickitung could also learn Rock Smash.
Fortunately for Lickitung, it gained a few important things in Generation 4, Diamond/Pearl & HeartGold/SoulSilver. It gained the use of many more moves, including HM moves like Whirlpool and Rock Climb, but also an evolution in Lickilicky. Fortunately, the new evolution was easy to acquire, simply learn Rollout and level up. In 4th generation, Lickitung learns Rollout at level 33.
While Lickilicky is hardly an amazing Pokemon, and can actually serve the same role as Lickitung, its stats are quite an improvement. Here are its base stats in comparison:
Lickitung: 90 HP, 55 Attack, 75 Defense, 60 Special Attack, 75 Special Defense, 30 Speed
Lickilicky: 110 HP, 85 Attack, 95 Defense, 80 Special Attack, 95 Special Defense, 50 Speed
Jumping forward to Generation 7, HM moves became completely obsolete. In Generation 8, you can even catch a Lickilicky in the wild in the Expansion Pass. Notably, Lickitung becomes a legitimate Pokemon when it’s in Dynamax form. The question is, can Lickilicky be a good Pokemon without the need for HM slaves any more?
The answer is, yes, as long as you are good with it being specially defensive. The improved defense, special defense, and HP on Lickilicky make it at least an option even for competitive Pokemon teams. Smogon University suggests a Careful nature for Lickilicky (plus Special Defense, minus Special Attack) with a utility moveset including four of Wish, Protect, Toxic, Heal Bell, and Knock Off. Yes, Lickilicky can learn quite an array of moves by T.M. and T.R. and has decent attack stats, but putting max Effort Value (EV) investment in HP and special defense seems like the best way to go.
Another strategy once used in competitive play involved using Swords Dance to increase its attack by two stages, then using Explosion to trade with an opponent’s Pokemon. It was decent in double battles where your other Pokemon has high physical defense or could use Protect-type Moves. Another option is to use Swords Dance with physical attacks such as Fire Punch, Thunder Punch, and Ice Punch for type coverage, but its stats aren’t quite up to par as an attacker in competitive play.
In any case, it’s nice that Lickilicky made Lickitung a somewhat more valuable Pokemon. While it will always probably be thought of by older players as a favorite HM slave, Lickitung evolving into Lickilicky at least gives you an interesting Pokemon to play with that has plenty of potential options to choose from.
Is Lickilicky Good in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?
Now that HM moves are part of a Poketch app in the Diamond and Pearl remakes on the Nintendo Switch, you still don’t need Lickitung or Lickilicky to carry your Hidden Moves to progress through the game. Also, Lickilicky has many of the same moves it gained in recent generations. Unfortunately, as with many Pokemon, Lickitung nor Lickilicky can any longer learn Toxic. It still learns solid moves by level up, even after evolving into Lickitung, with moves like the Normal-type Stomp, Dark-type Knock Off, and the powerful Grass-type move Power Whip. It can also learn Belly Drum, which cuts its HP in half in order to maximize its Attack.
The problem is, while its stats are much better than Lickitung’s, there are so many Pokemon which outclass it. Belly Drum is much better on Pokemon like Snorlax and Hariyama, and Pokemon that can learn it as an egg move, like Azumarill and, heck, even Ursaring! It’s significantly a better Pokemon than it was in the original Diamond and Pearl games.
Also, the Own Tempo ability allowing it to not be confused is somewhat relevant, considering that Swagger, which raises Attack but confuses a Pokemon, suddenly becomes a very useful move to power him up. Again, though Slowbro and Purugly can also have Own Tempo, and are much more relevant competitively, Slowbro thanks to being excellent on Trick Room teams and Purugly for outspeeding so many other mons.
Is Lickilicky a Good Pokemon in Legends Arceus?
In Pokemon Legends Arceus, Lickilicky is quite easy to find and despite a reduced movepool can still be rather good. You can find Lickilicky in the wild by scouring the Avalanche Slopes in the Alabaster Icelands or the Shrouded Ruins in the Crimson Mirelands. You can even find an Alpha Lickilicky in said Shrouded Ruins at level 52.
Lickitung can also readily evolve to Lickilicky since most you will catch already have learned Rollout. If it happens to not have Rollout, you can easily change up its moves to add it, facilitating the evolution. From there, Lickilicky has a pretty diverse movepool with Rest (busted in this game), Bulldoze, Zen Headbutt, Double-Edge, and Giga Impact. The Training Grounds allows you to add coverage moves like Ice Ball, Rock Smash, Fire Punch, Thunder Punch, Ice Punch, Rock Slide, Iron Tail, Water Pulse, Icy Wind, Shadow Ball, Aqua Tail, Hyper Beam, Flamethrower, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam. Phew!
Of course, Lickilicky also learns Lick, the Ghost-type physical attacking move that has a 30 percent chance to paralyze. While this was not a bad move in Generation 1 and perhaps even Generation 2, it’s simply no longer worth the move slot, despite it being the most flavorful move Lickilicky can learn due to its signature tongue.
If you happen to catch an Alpha Lickilicky in Pokemon Legends Arceus, you could well have a pretty strong team member. Just don’t bring it out against the myriad of Pokemon that learn Fighting-type moves and you should be OK.
Overall, is Lickilicky a good Pokemon? It’s certainly not bad, although Snorlax is probably just a better Pokemon for your playthrough. The Own Tempo gimmick can work in double battles, but as this is a game primarily played in single battles, it’s going to be mostly irrelevant except in corner cases. Competitively, it’s a bit outclassed, but I wouldn’t be surprised seeing people make it work. It’s a good Pokemon, but it’s just not your best choice for what it can do.
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